Monday, December 29, 2014

Kick your Thanksgiving dinner up a notch: Address your family's racism!

Nov. 27, 2014 Thanksgiving Day

Alright white people! Let today be the Superbowl of social justice in white communities. Do you want justice for Michael Brown? Do you want an end to the water shutoffs? Do you want to end structural racism in America?


You are not going to "ruin" Thanksgiving. Your family loves you. And by loving you, they will listen to you. Maybe not at first. Granted your Dad watches a lot of Fox News. And your Uncle Ron even calls in to Rush Limbaugh. But remember these are the guys who voted for Gov. Rick Snyder, the man who singlehandedly disenfranchised more African Americans than any single person since the end of Reconstruction. And guess what? Rachel Maddow isn't going to drop by for a plate. But you are right there. And your Dad doesn't love Rachel Maddow. But he loves you.

So say what you have to say. Make notes if you have to. Text yourself a list of statistics. White people love statistics. Pull up tabs on your phone with 20 different articles. Go over there ready. You don't have to yell. This doesn't have to be like your first vegan Thanksgiving when you got high on Morrissey and called your family murderers and your Mom cried. Tell it straight. Respect that they can change.

If you can't convince the people who love you the most that we MUST end the war on Black America, what do you ever expect to change in this world?

And you have the right to believe that they can change. Because you LOVE them too. Because they are more than Fox News, and Ann Coulter and their Sarah Palin bumper stickers. Because you are you, and you care, and you are you and you care because of them, even if that's a mystery to all of you sometimes. And you love each other. And there is no greater power than LOVE. So tell them. 

Tell them with love.

Show them that giving up white privilege isn't scary. It's the opposite, it's the way for our families to get closer. To end the white-on-white violence of pharmaceutical (adrenal, prozac) brain assault on our children, end the white-on-white violence where we move as far away from our families as possible and in doing so colonize other communities, end the white-on-white violence that manifests as rape/molestation culture that doesn't begin on the campus but in suburban bedrooms, the white-on-white violence of giving our economic power to banks, and our political power to politicians who work for those banks, all of which have destroyed our ability to sustain ourselves, the white-on-white violence that took any semblance of the Creator or Love out of our religious institutions. You have the power.

And remember, this doesn't mean higher taxes. We all know. Your Grandpa thinks taxes are the root of all evil. But our discriminatory ways have COST all of us money. A 2013 W. K. Kellogg Foundation report, titled, “The Business Case for Racial Equity,” found “if the average incomes of minorities were raised to the average incomes of whites, total U.S. earnings would increase by 12 percent, representing nearly $1 trillion today. By closing the earnings gap through higher productivity, gross domestic product (GDP) would increase by a comparable percentage, for an increase of $1.9 trillion today. The earnings gain would translate into $180 billion in additional corporate profits, $290 billion in additional federal tax revenues, and a potential reduction in the federal deficit of $350 billion, or 2.3 percent of GDP.

The report goes on to show additional monies lost to the American economy — totaling hundreds of billions — each year due to disparities in health costs and loss of productivity.

So give it a try. And if you don't get through today keep trying tomorrow and at Christmas and at Easter and on Memorial Day barbecues (when it gets heavy, sure talk about the game or Aunt Sheila's health, take a break from the heavy stuff and come back to it when they bring it up, because they will). Tell them BECAUSE you love them. Because you want them to live in happy world. Because you believe in LOVE. Because you feel LOVE. Love doesn't teargas people. Love doesn't shoot rubber bullets or live rounds. Love doesn't shut off taps to families. Love doesn't say our tax dollars don't have to provide a "quality education" for our children. Love doesn't poison our rivers and our skies and the land that sustains us.

That's not rocket science. Your family CAN understand that. Because they LOVE you. Because we are made by love, literally, by our parents, and of Love by our Creator.

And if you need some facts in your corner, the, will back you up all day and night.

And if you need some good vibes in your corner, remember the Creator's love is ubiquitous.

And I am thankful for that.

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